Video Calls for All

 

Christmas is about spending time with friends and family and video calls can be a great way of keeping in touch when you can't all be together.

 

There's a plethora of fantastic video conferencing platforms out there that are not only suitable for conference calls but also great when you want to have a virtual catch-up with your friends and family.

 

Here's a roundup of our favourites along with how to set up group video calls.

 

Whatsapp

Zoom

Google

Microsoft Teams

Facebook Messenger

Facetime

 

Blog Icons 1 Blue-17Whatsapp

 

For up to eight participants, a group video call on Whatsapp is a perfect way to chat on the go, directly from your mobile phone.

 

You can make a group call directly from a group chat, individual chat or from the calls tab.

 

Make a group video call from a group chat

 

  1. Open the WhatsApp group chat you want to video call.
  2. If your group chat has nine or more participants, tap Group call.
    • If your group chat has eight or less participants, tap Video call. In this case, the call will immediately begin.
  3. Find the contacts you want to add to the call, then tap Video call.
 
Make a group video call from the CALLS tab

 

  1. Open WhatsApp, then tap the CALLS tab.
  2. Tap New call > New group call.
  3. Find the contacts you want to add to the call, then tap Video call.
 
Make a group video call from an individual chat

 

  1. Open the WhatsApp chat with one of the contacts you want to video call.
  2. Tap Video call.
  3. Once the contact accepts the call, tap Add participant.
  4. Find another contact you want to add to the call, then tap ADD.
  5. Tap Add participant if you want to add more contacts.

 



Blog Icons 1 Blue-17Zoom

 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to set up a Zoom meeting easily:

 

On Desktop

 

Starting A Zoom Meeting

Step 1: Log in to your Zoom account.

 

zoom upcoming meetings

 

 

 

Step 2: Hover your cursor over the “HOST A MEETING” button at the top-right corner of the screen, and select one of the following options:

 

  • With Video On
  • With Video Off
  • Screen Share Only

Step 3: The website will redirect you to the Zoom app and start a meeting. Here, you can edit meeting settings or copy the “Invitation URL” that you send to the attendees.

meeting invitation for zoom meeting

Note: You can also start a meeting quickly through the desktop app by following the instructions we listed for mobile devices later on.

 

Adding Participants

 

Step 1: Start a new meeting on the Zoom desktop app.

 

zoom desktop app

 

Step 2: In the new meeting screen, click on the “Invite” button in the toolbar at the bottom.

 

invite people to meeting

 

Step 3: Here, Zoom will give you the options to either Copy URL or Copy Invitation. You can send these to participants via text, email or instant messaging.

 

send meeting invitation

 

Step 4: You can also directly email the meeting details through your preferred email client via the Zoom app itself.

 

On Mobile Device

 

Starting A Zoom Meeting

 

Step 1: Open the Zoom mobile app and sign in to your account.

Step 2: Tap the orange “New Meeting” icon that appears on your screen.

Step 3: Edit meeting settings according to your preferences (such as switching video off for participants, using a Personal Meeting ID, etc.).

Once you’re done, tap the blue “Start A Meeting” button.

 

B. Adding Participants

 

Step 1: Once the meeting starts, tap the “Participant” icon in the toolbar at the bottom of your screen to add and manage participants.

Step 2: In the Participants window that opens up, tap on the “Invite” option at the bottom left.

Zoom will now give you the option to share your meeting details via a variety of communication platforms. These include various text, email and messaging apps on your smartphone.


How To Join A Zoom Meeting

 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to join a Zoom meeting quickly:

Note: The same steps apply to both your desktop and your phone.

 

Join Using A Meeting Link

 

If you have a meeting link, just click on it or paste it into your web browser to join the meeting.

 

Join Using A Meeting ID

 

Step 1: Open the Zoom app and click on the “Join” icon.

 

zoom main window

 

Step 2: Paste the Meeting ID in the box provided, add your display name for the meeting and click on the “Join” button.

join meeting

 

Blog Icons 1 Blue-17Google Hangouts

 

Google hangouts supports video calling for up to 10 participants

 

On Desktop

 

  1. Go to hangouts.google.com or open Hangouts in Gmail.
  2. Click New conversation Plusand then New group.

  3. Enter or select the names, phone numbers, or email addresses of people you want to add.
  4. To start a group conversation or video call, click Message or Video call.

 

Invite people to the conversation

  1. Go to hangouts.google.com or open Hangouts in Gmail.
  2. Select a group conversation.
  3. At the top right of the chat box, click Settings Settings.
  4. Check "Joining by link.” Everyone in the group will see that you turned on joining by link.
  5. Click Copy link.
  6. Share the link with the person you want to add.
    • Anyone can join the group using the link.
    • Everyone in the group will see when someone joins.
    • Everyone will also be able to see the conversation history.
  7. To turn off sharing using a link, uncheck "Joining by link.” If someone turns sharing by link back on, all previously shared links will work again.

Add by name, number, or email

 

  1. Go to hangouts.google.com or open Hangouts in Gmail.
  2. Select a group conversation.
  3. Click People People and then Add People.
  4. Enter the names, phone numbers, or email addresses of people you want to add.
  5. Check the names and click Add people. They will be immediately added to the group. Everyone in the group will see people who are added.

 

On Android

 

  1. Open the Hangouts app .
  2. At the bottom, tap Add Add question and then New conversation and then New group.

  3. Enter and select the names, phone numbers, or email addresses of people in your group.

  4. Tap Done Done.

 

On iPhone and iPad

 

  1. Open the Hangouts app Hangouts.
  2. At the bottom, tap Add Add question and thenNew Group.
  3. Enter the names, phone numbers, or email addresses of people you want in your conversation.
  4. Tap Done Done

 

 

Blog Icons 1 Blue-17Microsoft Teams

 

Microsoft Teams might be the ultimate platform with a group call, now allowing up to 10,000 participants! 

 

Start a call from a chat in Teams

 

You can make one-on-one or group calls with anyone in your organization directly from a chat without having to host a team meeting. These calls are private and won't appear in any team conversation. Entries for the calls will appear in your chat, though.

 

  1. Go to your chat list, and click New chat New chat button to start a new conversation.

  2. Type the name or names into the To field at the top of your new chat.

  3. Select Video call Video call button or Audio call Calls button to start a call.

Up to 20 people can be on the same video call. 

Note: If a group chat includes more than 20 people, calling buttons will be disabled.

 

Video call, Audio call, and Add people buttons

 

If you're not currently in a chat with the person you want to call, you can start a new call from a command. Go to the command box at the top of your screen and type /call, then type or select the name of the person you want to reach.

 

You can also start a one-on-one call from someone's profile card. Open it by clicking their picture in a channel or from a search.

 

Using Meetings

 

For video calls that need more than 20 participants switch to meetings and enjoy up to 10,000 participants all in one place.

 

Scheduling a meeting

 

There are a few different ways to schedule a meeting in Teams:

 

  • Select Schedule a meeting Schedule a meeting button in a chat to book a meeting with the people or person you are chatting to.

  • Go to Calendar Meetings button on the left side of the app and select New meeting in the top right corner.

  • Select a range of time in the calendar. A scheduling form will pop open.

The scheduling form is where you'll give your meeting a title, invite people, and add meeting details. Use the Scheduling Assistant to find a time that works for everyone.

 

Scheduling Assistant tab in the Teams new meeting scheduling form.  

 

Once you're done filling out the details, select Save. This will close the scheduling form and send an invite to everyone's Outlook inbox.

 

Joining a Meeting

 

This handy video shows you how easy it is to join a meeting.

 

 

 

For more information on using Microsoft Team meetings click here

 

 

Blog Icons 1 Blue-17Facebook Messenger

 

Facebook Messenger is free, available on desktop and mobile and used by millions making this a great platform for a video call. 

 

Calling is easy 

 

  1. From , click  Messenger in the left menu.
  2. Open a conversation with the person or people you want to video chat with.
  3. Click  in the top right corner of the chat window.
  4. Click Call.

 

Blog Icons 1 Blue-17FaceTime

 

A firm favourite of iPhone users, Facetime is the perfect way to have a group call. Consider a phone tripod if you plan on facetiming whilst doing other activities.

 

 

 

Start a Group FaceTime call from the FaceTime app

 

  1. Go to Settings > FaceTime and make sure FaceTime is on.
  2. Open FaceTime and tap the Add button  in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Enter the name of your contacts, phone numbers or email addresses.
  4. To start your FaceTime call, tap Audio or Video.

You can add up to 32 people to a Group FaceTime call.

 

 

 

Start a Group FaceTime call from the Messages app

 

In a group conversation in Messages, you can start Group FaceTime directly from the group conversation. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages and start a group conversation. Or go to an existing group conversation.
  2. Tap the contacts at the top of the group conversation.
  3. Tap FaceTime , then start your call.

You can add up to 32 people to a Group FaceTime call.

 

 

Join a Group FaceTime call

 

There are a few ways to join a Group FaceTime call that someone else started:

  • Tap the notification from the Notification Centre or the Lock screen, then tap FaceTime icon
  • To join a Group FaceTime call from Messages, tap the notification at the top of your screen or tap Join from the group conversation in Messages. After you tap Join, you're connected automatically.
  • To join a call from the FaceTime app, just go to the active call in FaceTime, then tap FaceTime icon

 

From a notification

 

 

From a group message

 

 

 

 

Add a person to a Group FaceTime call

 

  1. From the call, tap the Add button add icon.
  2. Tap Add Person. 
  3. Enter the contact's name, phone number or email address.
  4. Tap Add Person to FaceTime.

When you add someone to your call, you can tap Ring next to their name so their device alerts them of the incoming call.

When someone is added to a Group FaceTime call, they can't be removed from the call. The person who was added to the call needs to end the Group FaceTime call.

 

 

 

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